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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24926.
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Appendix A

Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will examine potential responses to the current large influx of undergraduate students enrolling in computing and computer science (CS) courses in 4-year institutions. This study will investigate the following:

  • Current and projected patterns of enrollment in undergraduate courses in computer science, computer engineering (CE), and information (within undergraduate information schools), including an analysis of the factors that have driven recent growth and may drive future growth. Data will be disaggregated by type of 4-year institution (e.g., top 50, R-1). The study will include an analysis of enrollment patterns among CS/CE/information majors and minors and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM majors taking service courses offered by CS/CE/information departments or enrolling in CS/CE/information courses on an elective basis. A primary goal of this effort is to determine whether the recent increases in enrollment are similar to other cyclic fluctuations that have occurred in the past or whether they are more likely to be sustained.
  • Strategies that various institutions are using to respond most effectively to enrollment growth while maintaining or enhancing course access as well as the quality of instruction, considered by type of college or university. The study will examine the impacts those strategies are having on CS/CE/information departments in terms of, for example, faculty and graduate student hiring and workload (including non-CS faculty), student retention, and support for the needs of different categories of students (such as non-CS majors, CS minors, STEM majors, and non-STEM majors).
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24926.
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  • The impact of enrollment growth on efforts to increase the enrollment of women and underrepresented minorities in CS/CE/information courses and degree programs, as well as on strategies for retaining those students in the CS/CE/information field and encouraging their pathways toward graduate degrees and careers in related fields.

The committee will produce a report with findings and recommendations, as well as questions for additional research.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24926.
×
Page167
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24926.
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Page168
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The field of computer science (CS) is currently experiencing a surge in undergraduate degree production and course enrollments, which is straining program resources at many institutions and causing concern among faculty and administrators about how best to respond to the rapidly growing demand. There is also significant interest about what this growth will mean for the future of CS programs, the role of computer science in academic institutions, the field as a whole, and U.S. society more broadly.

Assessing and Responding to the Growth of Computer Science Undergraduate Enrollments seeks to provide a better understanding of the current trends in computing enrollments in the context of past trends. It examines drivers of the current enrollment surge, relationships between the surge and current and potential gains in diversity in the field, and the potential impacts of responses to the increased demand for computing in higher education, and it considers the likely effects of those responses on students, faculty, and institutions. This report provides recommendations for what institutions of higher education, government agencies, and the private sector can do to respond to the surge and plan for a strong and sustainable future for the field of CS in general, the health of the institutions of higher education, and the prosperity of the nation.

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